blogging

Editorial Calendar: Yes, You DO Need One! (And The 2020 Media Diary Will Make Content Planning Easy)

If your content planning consists of scribbling blog post titles on post-it notes or you spend way more time than you should on social media searching for content ideas, it’s time for some tough love:

If you’ve thrown yourself into content marketing in the hope of building your brand and generating more sales and it’s just not working:

I’ve created an amazing desk planner - the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner - that will take all the pain out of content planning. It’s an A4 desk diary designed specifically to help you create 52 weeks of content and save you a ton of time. With planners, templates and hundreds of awareness dates, you’ll never be stuck for content ideas again.

If you can devote just a few hours to planning out your 2020 content, I promise this will be the year that all your content marketing efforts will finally start working for you.

Let’s look at exactly why creating a content calendar is vital for your business.


1. You'll be more strategic with your content planning 

I see so many business owners approach their content with bags of enthusiasm but very little strategy. And while enthusiasm is great, you’re not creating content because you love writing/vlogging/connecting on social media – you’re creating content because you want to drive your business forward.

And to do that, you need to focus on your content marketing goals. Are you trying to establish authority on a certain subject within your industry? Perhaps you have an underperforming product and you really need to boost sales. Or maybe you’ve got a new product/service and need content for your launch.

If you’re clear on your objectives you can ensure that the content you’re creating is engineered to accomplish these goals.

The 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner contains a template that allows you to create a yearly overview of your content. If you’re in the Media Diary Owners’ Club – perfect if you need additional support and accountability - you’ll also get this as a printable. When your content is mapped out like this it’s so much easier to spot any gaps.

For example, if you’re a coach or consultant and one of your 2020 goals is to launch a new coaching package, the yearly overview page will help you identify what kind of content you should be publishing and when.



2. You'll find it easier to spot content opportunities 

How many times have you spotted a flurry of activity on social media around an awareness day that relates to your business... and kicked yourself for missing out on a great marketing opportunity?

Planning your content out well in advance allows you to take advantage of important dates and awareness days that relate to your business.

For example, if you have a pet business, you might want to create some timely content around Crufts dog show in March. If you design clothes or accessories, you could create some content around London Fashion Week in January. And if you run a food business, you might plan some content around National Doughnut day in June.

Even more than that, key dates, events and awareness days can actually provide the ideal timing to launch new products or services. Let’s say you're launching a new range of tennis wear, for example. The ideal time to do that would be during Wimbledon, right? It sounds obvious when you put it like that, but when you’re busy running your business, it’s easy to miss opportunities.

The 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner  contains hundreds of these key dates and awareness days so you can plan for everything well in advance.

This is especially important if one of your aims for 2020 is to gain interest from the press. Most consumer magazines work 3-6 months in advance. So if Children’s Book Day in April is the perfect opportunity for you to promote your bid to be the next J.K.Rowling, you need to pitch your idea no later than January.

3. You'll be more creative 

If only tapping into our inner creativity was as easy as flicking a switch. Unfortunately, for most of us it takes a while to get into the creative zone – that sweet spot when ideas just flow to us with ease.

The great thing about creating an editorial calendar is that rather than working in fits and starts, you can dedicate a block of time which will help you get in the ‘zone’. Use the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner  key dates and awareness days as a jumping off point to spark content ideas and you’ll soon find that content inspiration just keeps coming.

4. You'll be more consistent with your content creation 

How many times have you found yourself in the midst of a busy period and decided your content can wait? You’ll get round to it once you’ve cleared this latest round of client projects…

Only by the time you’ve finished those, you have a whole new set of distractions getting in the way of your content creation. Before you know it it’s been three weeks since your last post or your last social media update and your audience has drifted off to follow someone more reliable.

Often the most time-consuming aspect of getting your content out there is coming up with the initial idea. Yet again, it’s your editorial calendar to the rescue.

The 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner  has pages for quarterly and weekly plans so when you’re in the middle of a busy spell, you know that you’ve already done the hardest part. You just have to look to your planner and you have your topics there ready for you to create or to outsource.

There are even sections to help you repurpose each piece of content for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to save you even more time. When everything is laid out clearly in advance, getting your content out there consistently becomes so much easier.

When you approach your content in this way, with a clear strategy, you’ll not only find that creating it becomes much easier, you’ll find that the quality improves too, allowing you to provide your audience with even more value.

And that’s exactly what you need to do to build your brand and  increase your sales.

5. You'll make more money 

Publishing regular content on your area of expertise will help you build authority. This will help you build trust with prospective customers and clients - which means they’ll be far more likely to buy from you.

And, by the way, this applies whether you run a product or service-based business. If you sell products, creating content that shows how using your product (or others like it) can help your customer is a great way to build authority - and make sales. And it’s exactly what I’m doing with this blog post.

If you need more inspiration, check out this Youtube video from Mama Life London founder Beth Campagna on what to wear with a sequin skirt. I’d never have bought this t-shirt on its own - because I wouldn’t have known how to wear it. Seeing Beth demo how to wear it with a sequin skirt not only gave me the confidence I could carry it off, it reassured me I had something to wear with it.

Need inspiration for you content planning and creation? Get a copy of your 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner and for more support and accountability check out the Media Diary Owners’ Club.

Find out more about the difference between the Media Diary and the Media Diary Owners’ Club.

Create 52 weeks of content with the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner

Do you find it hard to think of creative content ideas and stick to a content plan for more than a few weeks at a time?

It all starts with content planning and that’s exactly what the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner is designed to help you do.

It’s an A4 desk diary that includes hundreds of awareness days and key dates to help you plan your media content for 2020. There’s also useful planning tools to help you with annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly planning (and save you tons of time in the process).

Invest in the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner and, not only will you save time and money on your content planning and creation, you’ll never run out of ideas again.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to planning 52 weeks of content using the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner. 

1. Block out some time for content planning

First things first, set aside some dedicated time for your content planning. If you can, go off site. Find a cafe you like to work in – a quiet hotel lobby - anywhere where you can focus on this task uninterrupted. You’ll be much more productive and creative this way.

2. Create your annual content plan

It can be helpful to approach your content like a videographer. Start with ‘wide shot’ of your business - looking at how to shape your content across the year - and gradually zoom closer, until you’re focusing on quarterly, weekly and daily content.

So let’s start with that ‘wide shot’ of your year. Think about the key things that are happening in your business in each quarter of the year. When will you be launching new products/services? Are you doing any speaking? Will you be attending any industry events? List at least three key things for each quarter.

There is a planning sheet in the diary to help with this. If you’re in the Media Diary Owner’s Club – perfect if you want some extra training, support and accountability to help you make the most of your diary – it’s also available as a printable. Find out more about the difference between the 2020 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club.

Once you've written down what you're going to be doing each quarter, see if you can find two or three awareness days/key dates in the diary you can use to spark content ideas.

For example, if you have a pet business, you might want to create some timely content around Crufts dog show in March. If you design clothes or accessories, you could create some content around London Fashion Week in January. And if you run a food business, you might plan some content around National Doughnut day in June.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking some of the dates in the diary aren’t ‘serious’ enough for your business. With a bit of creative thinking, it’s entirely possible to make them work for you. For example, parenting blogger Jenni Fuchs turned Hedgehog Day into a round-up of hedgehog picture books for children - which turned out to be one of her most popular posts that month.

Read: how to double your web traffic in 10 easy steps.

In this phase of your content planning, try not to overthink things. There’s no commitment; just because you write something down doesn’t mean you have to do it.

Some media diary owners tell me they struggle with this first task because they don’t know what they’re going to be doing in their business in 2020. If this is the case, you have a business problem not a content problem. This means you’ll need to go back to the drawing board and plan out what’s happening in your business in each quarter before you move onto your content planning.

Others say they fear writing anything down in case their business plans change in the future. Again, it’s important not to overthink this. You’ll always have to factor in change in any business and it’s much less time consuming  to tweak a plan you’ve already worked on than to start from scratch. Just apply your best thinking right now.

3. Create your quarterly content plan

Once you've created your annual content plan, you can zoom in a little closer and start your quarterly content planning.

To make life easy for yourself in 2020, I suggest you create one key piece of content a week, whether it’s a blog/vlog, podcast, Facebook Live or infographic and repurpose it into multiple pieces of content (more on how to do this later).

This means you only need to come up with a list of 12 ideas for each quarter - ideas that complement the key business activities and dates you’ve already identified in your annual content plan. Simple when you put it like that, right?

Here’s two methods you can use to create your list of 12 ideas (or you can combine the two).

Method 1: Base content around your customers’ questions - Start by making a list of 12 questions your customers ask you regularly - both generic questions and specific ones about your product/service. Then look to answer these questions through your chosen content form.

For example, my prospective customers often ask me questions like this about content planning.

  • Why do I need a content plan?
  • How often should I be publishing new content?
  • What kind of content should I be creating for my business?
  • What are the biggest mistakes people make with content planning?
  • How far ahead should I be planning my content?
  • How flexible should I be with my content planning? Is there any room for spontaneity?

There’s six content ideas right there.

They also ask me quite specific questions about the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner:

  • What are benefits of buying the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner?
  • What’s the difference between the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner and the Media Diary Owners’ Club?
  • Can I see inside the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner?
  • Will the media diary help me if I have a product-based business?
  • Is the 2020 Media Diary suitable for business owners based outside the UK?
  • I bought last year’s Social Media Diary & Planner but I didn’t use it. Should I buy it again?

There’s another six content ideas - some of which I’ve already turned into blog posts.

Method 2: Create content for each stage of your customer journey

Knowlton Digital Marketing founder Dan Knowlton talks about the need to create three types of content designed to attract customers at each stage of the buying journey. These are:

  1. Awareness content
  2. Consideration content
  3. Purchase content.

For example, my podcast episodes tend to address a specific problem listeners are experiencing e.g. how to make more sales in their business, how to get engagement on social media or how to generate passive income. This is awareness content - because it’s raising awareness of the problem and how I might be able to help.

This blog post on the difference between the 2020 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club  is an example of consideration content as I’m addressing prospective customers’ concerns and helping them make a buying decision.

An example of purchase content would be the Facebook Lives I hosted to launch the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner. They were aimed at those who were interested in buying the diary, but wanted more information - including how and where they could buy it.

There are no hard and fast rules about how much of each type of content you should create - it really depends on what you’re selling and when. For example, if you’re launching a new product/service in February, it makes sense to focus on awareness content in January and create more consideration and purchase content in the weeks leading up to (and during) your launch.

I’ve now shared two possible approaches to creating a list of 12 content ideas for each quarter of the year. If you're part of the Media Diary Owners' Club there are printables and proformas to help you do this.

Most people struggle to plan content in great detail beyond 90 days, so put a date in your diary to plan for the next 90 days. Just being able to look across the first 90 days will really take the pressure off.

4. Create your weekly content plan

With your quarterly plan complete, you can zoom in a little closer and create a weekly content plan for your business.

This is where content repurposing comes in. Now that you’re focusing on creating one key piece of content a week, start to think about how you can break that down over a week.

For example, you could record a video, strip out the audio and turn it into a podcast. You could use a resource like rev.com to generate a transcript and turn that into a blog post. Then you could pull out some soundbites from the transcript and turn them into infographics for social media (using a graphic design tool like Canva), audio trailers (using a resource like Headliner) and video trailer (using a tool like Kapwing). If you focus on making that cornerstone piece of content work as hard for you as possible (by repurposing it in different ways), you’ll soon have enough content for every day of the week.

And don’t be afraid to post your content more than once. People are busy and may not see it the first time round (or even the third, fourth or fifth).

5. Creating your daily content plan

Now that you know which key pieces of content you’ll be producing each week and how that can be broken down into lots of smaller pieces of content, all you have to do is work out which piece will be published on which platform each day.

In the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner, there’s space for you to plan what content you’re going to post on each of your social media channels on different days of the week – perfect for visualising how each week of your social media content will look.

If you've always found content planning an overwhelming, arduous job, you'll love how easy it becomes when you have the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner sitting on your desk.

Get a copy of your 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner and if you need more support and accountability you can get that in the Media Diary Owners' Club.

Find out more about the difference between the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner and the Media Diary Owners’ Club.

[321] How to get people to actually read your blog with Andy Crestodina

Andy Crestodina is an experienced content and ethical digital marketing expert who has helped thousands of businesses get better results online.  In this episode he shares his top tips on getting more people to read your blog, how to make your content rank higher in search engines and why collaboration is the key to growing your audience.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Andy’s business story (2:52)
  • How to plan content that will get engagement (4:40)
  • How to make your content visible in search rankings and build up your website's authority (7:20)
  • What you need to know about no-follow and do-follow links (14:20)
  • Why creating a niche headline (and content) will give you more chance of ranking high on Google (17:01)
  • Why you should include quotes from other people within your content (23:48)
  • How to include video in your blog content (25:10)
  • How to build your audience online (28:42)

Resources

Andy’s website: Orbit Media

Andy on Twitter and LinkedIn

Andy’s Book: Content Chemistry

Order the 2019 Sorted Content Planning Toolkit here

Order the 2019 Media Diary

Order the 2019 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club

Order the 2019 Wall Year Planner

Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Membership

Love Marketing, Make Money Income Goals Checklist

The Janet Murray Show Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My FREE Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Facebook Community

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

[305] On-Air Coaching: What should I blog about? With Gemma Stow

Publishing a regular blog can help you build your audience, gain trust and stand out as an authority in your field.  But how do you decide what to blog about?

In this on-air coaching episode, I share practical tips and strategies with business coach Gemma Stow on how to find out what your audience needs help with, write SEO- friendly content, plus how to promote and repurpose your content across all social platforms (and your email list).

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Gemma’s business story (1:44)
  • Gemma’s blogging history (4:36)
  • Why you should be blogging for your business (5:40)
  • Gemma explains the challenges she is having around creating content (7:02)
  • How to drive more people to your blog (9:02)
  • How to find what people are asking about your topic / searching for on Google (13:42)
  • The different types of blog posts you can write (15:32)
  • Why the titles of your blog posts are important (and how to improve them) (22:46)
  • Where to share your blog posts (and how to repurpose your content) (25:14)
  • Summary of the coaching session (33:02)

Resources

Gemma Stow’s Website

Gemma Stow on Twitter and LinkedIn

Gemma’s Facebook Group - The F Movement

2019 Media Diary Waiting List

Google’s Keyword Planner

Blog Post: How much does it cost to put on a live event or conference?

Blog Post: Want to attend a conference but don’t have the budget? Here’s how…

Blog Post: 7 non-sucky networking tips for live events

Blog Post: How to benefit from a conference (even if you can’t attend in person)

Blog Post: Eight common concerns about joining the Love Marketing membership

Blog Post: What kind of results can you expect when you join the Love Marketing membership?

Blog Post: Bought the 2017 Media Diary but didn’t use it as much as you hoped?

Episode 167: SEO made simple with Martin Huntbach

‘They ask, you answer’:  A book by Marcus Sheridan

Episode 240: How to drive more traffic to your business blog

Episode 238: Three types of blog posts you should be creating regularly

Episode 127: They ask, you answer: content marketing made easy with Marcus Sheridan

Episode 119: How to quadruple your income through blogging with Kate McQuillan

Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Membership

Content Live 2018

Love Marketing, Make Money Income Goals Checklist

The Janet Murray Show Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My FREE Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Facebook Community

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

 

[240] How to drive more traffic to your business blog

Would you like to attract more readers to your business blog? In this episode, I explain the four things you need to do to get more eyeballs on your content.

Here’s what you’ll learn this episode:

  • Why you need to build as many links back to your blog as possible (2:42)
  • The importance of attracting one reader at a time (4:30)
  • Where you should be promoting your content (6:30)
  • The benefits of creating guest content (7:33)
  • How press coverage can help grow your traffic (8:08)
  • Why you need to be a helpful person on the platforms your customers are hanging out (8:53)
  • Why I celebrate every new visitor to my blog - and you should too (14:50)

Resources:

Episode 238: Three types of blog posts you should be creating regularly

Soulful PR Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My FREE Soulful PR Facebook Community: tips & advice for promoting your business

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook